Is it Really Possible to Romantically Love More Than One Person At the Same Time?
One the greatest struggles of our modern monogamous relationships is the limitation of only being able to romantically “love” one person at the same time. It feels confusing and counter-intuitive, because we know we can “love” so many people at once, across our family, friends and others. But in monogamy, if we love more than one person romantically, we are causing harm to the relationship and violating the agreements we have made to be exclusive. Some people lie and cheat because they cannot reconcile their love for another with their love for their partner. Others feel forced to break- up. Others live feeling ‘trapped’ and miserable, wondering what might have been if they had pursued their desires.
In my journeys through love and I life, I have experienced another way. It might not be the ‘right’ way for some, but for me, it feels more natural. Being polyamorous and accepting that we can have multiple romantic loves simultaneously has given my partner and I deeper feeling of bonding and freedom than we could have ever imagined. We can express our love for each other while also feeling safe exploring and sharing intimacy with others. We have had to continuously work through our shadow selves together as we continue to transition through this place (and it has not been easy).
Indeed, this lifestyle is not without its challenges. It requires rigorous honesty, excellent time management, deep commitment, and direct up-front communication. It also asks partners to learn to better cope with that little green-eyed monster, jealousy, moving past it to a place of Compersion. If you have never heard of it, compersion refers to feeling happy and positive when you partner has feelings, fun times, or enjoyment with another person.
Are you strong enough to feel good about your partner spending intimate time with someone else? Does the thought make you feel insecure or upset? It is quite natural for this thought to make you anxious, because you have probably been conditioned to believe that it would be wrong to share your partner in this way. It can create feelings of fear and uncertainty that if permitted to explore these feelings, your partner might leave you.
So how can we safely approach polyamory and work through the feelings of jealousy and insecurity that it might create? How can we communicate about opening up our relationships in a way that will not harm what we have already built? How do we learn to be fearlessly open and honest with ourselves? Is it really possible to romantically love more than one person at the same time?
Listen to sex psychologist Dr. Kelly’s appearance on the Positive Head Podcast for her personal insights on approaching polyamory, and check our her and Jimi Ohms “Poly 101” podcast on Lucid Planet Radio for even more! Light and Love!
Cover Art: Mark Henson